By Vinay Umarji
While the festive month of October didn't result in de-growth for auto dealers in Ahmedabad, four wheeler sales were nevertheless dampening as compared to last year. According to city-based dealers, sales were either flat or even less on an year-on-year basis as compared to October 2010.
"If we sold 5,500 Hyundai cars in October in Ahmedabad this year, we did the same in October last year as well. In other words, the growth was flat when compared to last year. However, sales were better than what we expected," said Sukhbir Bagga, director of Group Planet Petal.
Even Manan Autolink, the authorised dealer for Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) saw sales of around 552 cars as against an expected festive sales of 750 units.
“Considering the tremendous growth we had seen last year during the festive season, we had expected to sell around 750 Maruti Suzuki four wheelers. However, this year in October we could only do 552 units. Sales growth have been disappointing in Ahmedabad this festive season," said Anil Patel of Manan Autolink.
What's more, with rising interest rates and cash crunch in the real estate market, much of the customers stayed away from car showrooms. In fact, auto manufacturers and dealers had to offer extra discounts to keep up the footfalls.
"If we used to offer a discount of Rs 10,000 last year during the festive season, this year we had to offer Rs 40,000. Manufacturers and dealers alike had to shell out more from their pockets. With rising interest rates and slowdown in realty market in Ahmedabad, money has literally stopped flowing in the market," added Bagga.
The dampening sales in festive season of Dussehra and Diwali comes a month after auto sales had picked up in Ahmedabad.
After major sales dip in the months of June and July, the month of August has ushered in more number of car bookings in Ahmedabad. August has witnessed rise in car bookings by 25-30 per cent.
For Manan Autolink, bookings for Maruti Suzuki cars had risen in August by 25-30 per cent as compared to July, despite high inflation and fuel prices.
For the city-based dealer of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., the new Swift has seen maximum bookings, followed by Alto and Wagon R. Similarly, for Group Planet Petal that deals in Hyundai models, car bookings had gone up by 10 per cent in August.
"Models like Hyundai i10, Santro and Accent have done pretty well in the month of August. It has been a relief since last two months had seen severe dip auto sales. The beginning of festive season have been pushing the sales and we expect better improved sales in September," said Bagga earlier. His Group Planet Petal sold 140 cars in August 2011 as compared to 70 cars in August 2010.